Tuesday, February 10, 2009

UNC-Duke, Act I

Rather than wax poetic on how amazing the UNC-Duke game will likely be, I'd rather just say this: no matter who you root for, sit back and enjoy the pure beauty of a rivalry at its best. Both teams in the top 6 (UNC in at 3, Duke at 6), a tremendous college basketball venue in Cameron Indoor Stadium, packed to the rafters--awesome. Having covered these games for a number of years, I can tell you that being in either Cameron or the Smith Center for these games is as close to heaven as you can get as a sports fan.

For the record (and because you, the loyal reader would demand it), my pick for Wednesday night is Duke in a close one, like 3 points. No disrespect to UNC, but Duke has a chip on their shoulder coming into this one, having dropped 4 of 5, and 3 straight at home. This is a proud Duke team, and they will want to do all they can to try and reverse that trend.

News 14 Carolina will have live coverage of all the post-game happenings--from coaches press conferences to locker room reaction. Jim Connors will be in Durham, while Ryan Welch will be staffing the NC State-Wake Forest game at the RBC Center as well. Sports Night kicks off at the normal 10pm slot, and then we'll jump back on air at the conclusion of UNC-Duke, so get out your "Watch and Switch" shoes!

* Coming up Thursday on the blog, I'll take a look at the Gatorade Duel 150's in Daytona. Great stuff with Martin Truex, Jr. on the pole, and Mark Martin locked into the outside pole for the Daytona 500. Former DEI teammates took care of business last Sunday, but how will they run when the race gets going? More on that on Thursday.

* Late add for tonight--the Bobcats-Pacers trade talk. Apparently, Bobcats co-owner (and Managing Member of Operations) Michael Jordan held a conference call with some writers (and TV didn't get invited to listen in?). He apparently didn't dismiss trade talk, but did say (according to reports) that he hopes to extend Felton to a new deal at the end of the season.

The trade talk involves Felton to Indiana for Jamaal Tinsley. Incase you missed it, Tinsley hasn't played for the Pacers this season. Not due to injury, but due to the team telling him to stay away. Yeah, he's not welcome with the team. So why would he be wanted in Charlotte? Dealing Felton because of a fear of not getting something in return is one thing, but getting Tinsley could be the equivalent of Felton leaving without compensation. Hopefully, Rod Higgins, Jordan, Larry Brown and anyone else involved will realize that Felton, while not the best PG in the NBA, brings a certain degree of grit and toughness this team needs. I like Felton, and I can see wanting to get something for him if he will cost too much in an extension. Still, taking on a player that has worn out his welcome with his current team isn't exactly the way to go.

Mike Solarte

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